HR Contingency Planning

6 May 2020
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HR Contingency Planning

The government has taken a number of very bold steps to sustain economic activity and support businesses and employees.

Employers are responding with a range of flexible and innovative measures to keep their businesses alive – reconfiguring the workplace to maintain social distancing; limiting face to face contact with the public; facilitating working from home.

Many of the measures introduced in response to the crisis will have a lasting impact on how businesses are organised and managed into the future.

Staffing plans

Businesses should prepare operating plans which are flexible and sustainable – include closing remote locations and making alternative arrangements to provide for key staff members falling ill:

  • Update staffing plans and rostering arrangements
  • Identifying ‘at risk’ employees – pregnancy, immunosuppressed people
  • Update contact details and communication links outside the office
  • Consider holidays, family friendly leave and unpaid leave

Workplace – social distancing

Reconfigure the workplace to reduce close contact in the workplace and limit face to face contact with the public:

  • Allow staff to work from home and avoid public transport
  • Close remote locations
  • Re-organise open plan areas to facilitate social distancing
  • Introduce flexible working and staggered break times


Home working

To facilitate social distancing and protect ‘at risk’ employees many employers have introduced home working.

Ensure that employees have access to office systems – check network, equipment, communications and security arrangements.

Where working from home is not possible, employees have been facilitated by reduced working hours and time-off to facilitate childcare arrangements.

Government supports

The government have introduced a number of direct payments and financial supports:

  • The COVID 19 Wage Subsidy Scheme administered by the Revenue Commissioners
  • The COVID 19 Pandemic Unemployment Benefit is available to employees and self-employed administered by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
  • Business Continuity Voucher (up to €2,500) administered by the Local Enterprise Offices


Vincent Turley

March 2020